Another Champions belt flies home to Dagestan at UFC 280. Charles Oliveira Vs Islam Makhachev was an absolute firecracker of a card. Filled with exciting knockouts and even more exciting submission wins. Every single fighter on the card from the prelims to the main event was stunning.
Table Of Contents
Main Event Breakdown
Charles Vs Islam
Aljamain Vs Dillashaw
Petr Vs O’Malley
Beneil Vs Dariush
Belal Muhammad, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Muhammad Mokaev
Charles Oliveira Vs Islam Makhachev
Charles Oliveira Vs Islam Makhachev was an extravaganza. Both fighters looked in form and active prior to the fight, in the weigh-ins and press conferences. Charles Oliveira from the favelas of Brazil where BJJ and mixed rule fights are common, seemed illuminated and confident. On the other hand Islam Makhachev and Team Eagle alongside Khabib Nurmagomedov also were confident with their training camp. Makhachevs team reported over 1 million was spent getting Islam completely prepared for the fight.
Both fighters came into the match with more than a 10 fight win streak. Charles came into the match desiring the return of his belt since he missed weight against his previous opponent. On the other hand the prodigal son of Dagestan, Khabibs protégé Islam Makhachev had arrived with his supporters, including Dagestani superstar Hasbulla Magomedov.
The five rounds are called by referee Jason Herzog and the (155 pound) UFC Lightweight Champion bout begins The title fight Oliveira Vs Makhachev .
Both fighters touch gloves and Oliveira shoots for a front kick to the body of Islam that Makhachev quickly evades! Islam holds a two punch combination in the barrel at Oliveira and fires both to regain Charles’. Charles pushes forward with a high guard as the Russian moves into the clinch. Charles pulls guard to drag Makhachev down to the ground with him.
“Do Bronx” immediately set up for submissions on the powerful sambo wrestler who desperately tries to break them while holding onto Oliveira’s wrist. He sets up a triangle and Makhachev responds by freeing his arms to prevent the follow-up armbar. Oliveira reacts with elbows and while clinching close range strikes from his back and lands a few.
Islam jumps back as he avoids a sweep from Charles. Whereas Oliveira uses this space to stand back up and throw another sweep. Oliveira maintains pressure on Makhachev backing him up to the cage side and landing body shots and knees, they both trade blows in the close range until Islam trips Oliveira and attempts to take back control.
Although he lands in half guard, Oliveira quickly recovers his own high guard as a cut around his right eye begins to bleed. Makhachev controls his pace and slows down looking composed with ground strikes to keep Oliveira down. The crowd begins to sing Islams name as the Do Bronx seems to falter for the first time in the match.
Oliveira however looks extremely comfortable and confident off his back and doesn’t exert too much energy trying to evade and break free. Makhachev elbows him and drops some of the famous Dagestani ground and pound to the joy of the crowd. The former champ responds with an up kick to push Makhachev off him and scrambles to gain the upper hand in guard. The bell rings however and the round is called.
Oliveira marches forward once again to engage Makhachev in the center and is met with a straight left hand. Oliveira slips a combination and trades knees against Islam while hunting for his own body lock takedown. Makhachev drops to a knee and attempts to recover his footing but gets kneed to the body as he turns to the cage.
At the same time Oliveira fights off Islam countering him with a takedown and lets off another knee to the body. Makhachev breaks the clinch and narrowly avoids an elbow strike. Oliveira maintains the pressure and pushes forward. He is met with a two punch high kick combination from Islam that rocks him and slows the pace of “Do Bronx”. As Charles resets he throws a few reckless punches lunging into Islam’s range.
Islam responds with a powerful clubbing overhand hook that seats Oliveira all the way to the mat. He pulls guard as well but Islam has already jumped in and beggins setting up an arm triangle choke. The choke is tight despite Charles squirming for room frantically.
For the first time in years Charles the submission expert looks like he’s in real trouble. Makhachev shifts control to the side and Oliveira taps desperately before he passes out. Charles winstreak comes to a devastating end while the legend, the Eagle himself, Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrates his way to Islam Makhachev. Dagestan will see UFC Championship gold once more.
Makhachev now has an 11 fight win streak and as Khabib wraps the belt around Islam and lifts him into the air, the crowd celebrates in riotous joy. In the octagon interview Islam thanks his ex-couch Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, and his current coach Khabib Nurmagomedov. He goes on to place the belt on Khabib’s shoulder.
Khabib smartly says that he would like to see Islam travel to Australia and fight the UFC Pound 4 Pound Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski. Islam and Khabib call him up to Alex on to the stage and even he agrees to the challenge.
Charles on the other hand briefly states that he would like the rematch, as every fighter has their night and this simply wasn’t his. He goes on to say he deserves the rematch but the case for Alexander has been made. It may be some time before Charles gets his title back.
Khamzat Makes A Minor Appearance At UFC 280: Oliveira Vs Makhachev
A video had been circulating showing Khamzat strolling through the walk-in area alongside a young boy who points out Abubakar Nurmagomedov in the crowd. The video takes place just after the main event fight between Charles and Islam. Khamzat greets him and walks off only to circle round and give Abubakar a shove while his teammates attempt to break up the disagreement.
Khabib and Chechen Head of State Ramzan Kadyrov are later in another video apologizing for both of their subordinates’ behavior. The video is in Russian but the translation reads a detailed apology. Khamzat stands on the side somewhat uncomfortable and in trouble, nodding in agreement with Coach Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Aljamain Sterling Vs T.J. Dillashaw
T.J. Dillashaw Verses The Bantamweight Champion Aljamein “The Funkmaster ” Sterling. Another surprising match, especially considering how Dillashaw apparently told the Referee before entering the ring that he is injured and to not stop the fight despite that. T.J. later also said that he dislocated his shoulder upwards of 20 times in training but didn’t tell anyone.
Early into the fight we find out how severe that is with Dillashaw’s arm dislocating in the first exchange coming from Sterling. Sterling looked amazing with how dominant he was throughout the match, from his wrestling to his striking he looked like he was the toppest of forms. TJ spends most of the first round against the cage where his balance and takedown defense can play.
However Dillashaw is fighting with one arm and hence barely so. The second round saw Aljo find multiple takedowns with the ref seeing little returning pressure from TJ. Aljamain makes another takedown and starts landing ground and pound with TJ barely able to defend. The Ref calls it off soon after in the second round at 3mins 44 seconds.
Aljamain “The Funkmaster ” Sterling wins his second title defense for the Bantamweight title.
Petr Yan Vs Sean O’Malley
A match for the history books, rank 11 “The Sugar Show” Sean O’Malley finds an extremely surprising win against the reigning bantamweight top contender and Ex-Champion Petr Yan. The match went all the way to the judges decision and that alone should tell you how much Sean O’Malley stepped up to the plate. Round 1 saw multiple takedowns from Petr with no defensible angle for Sean to escape to.
However we did get to see his fast movement and amazing fight intellect in the first moments of standup striking. Round 2 and 3 were more of the same with barely any takedown defense from Sean and huge difficulty getting back to his feet the few times he did. In one of those moments in the second round O’Malley landed a powerful punch on Yan.
The few moments when O’Malley did get the opportunity to fight standing up he did showcase outclassed striking and agility. When it finally came time for the fight to be scored the judges surprisingly had a split decision for Sean. Despite his own surprise as well he took the win with pride.
Beneil Dariush Vs Mateusz Gamrot
Beneil Dariush comes out with a unanimous decision win over explosive striker Mateusz Gamrot. Both fighters fought a 15min 3 round war, with Beneil getting the better of many engagements with how clean his movement and evasion is. His fight IQ seemed awakened after the first explosive combo came out from Gamrot in the first round.
The following rounds saw Dariush fend off many takedown attempts while controlling every takedown and countering with locks and holds of his own. Many center stage scrambles take place with Gamrot landing knees to the body of Dariush. Beneil lands multiple strikes from the clinch.
The Prelims at UFC 280
RDX Pick: Belal Muhammad Vs Sean Brady
Belal turned up the heat in this combat appearance against a powerful well rounded striker in Sean Brady. The match seemed extremely even till the final round where Belal started to land in a lot more volume. Round 1, both fighters were gauging each other with Brady getting the better of the early engagements but not without an equivalent reaction from Belal.
Round 2 saw Belal find extremely accurate combinations that really slowed the pace down of Brady. He maintained offensive pressure on Brady throughout the round. Finally in the 3rd round Belal began to walk down a stumbling and extremely hurt Sean Brady. As the final bell rings the decision seems undoubtedly to favor Belal.
The judges scorecard is announced and Belal, “Remember the Name” Muhammad is announced as the winner. Sean lost his first match, breaking his 15 fight winning streak.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Muhammad Mokaev
Both Dagestani fighters Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Muhammad Mokaev find a win against their opponents. Abubakar fought Gadzhi Omargadzhiev and won via decision in a very exciting welterweight bout. Despite having a difficult challenge Abubakar maintained consistent pressure on Omar and landed more accurate significant strikes on the Polish welterweight.
The first fight of the Preliminary Card Mohammad Mokaev found a last minute upside down arm bar submission win against the brilliant wrestling and grappling of Brazilian Malcolm Gordan. Malcolm was dominating the grappling throughout the match. Mokaev kept finding himself in difficult situations with a lock squeezing around him.
But in the final moments of the match Mokaev wrapped his legs around Malcolm’s arms and from the ground, twisted the arm bar for a tap out by the Brazilian submission specialist.
UFC 280: Oliveira Vs Makhachev was a blast from both the Russian and Brazilian fighters who came to Abu Dhabi, UAE to the Saudi crowd who lifted the event multiple levels of noise and really brought their best behavior to all of the fights. The fighters showcased heart, dedication and perseverance in the face of losses and every fight fan all over the world can respect that. In the meantime we have a new Lightweight Champion of the World. Islam Makhachev fulfilled the dreams of his guardian father, his coach, his brother and his people in an extremely emotional victory for Dagestanis worldwide.